Thursday, May 21, 2009

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Cole's Corner, Beth Conky, Kathy, Cindy, CarlaF, Lindsay T, eword10, Gwen, Sue, mamafitz, Faye Lewis, Alison, Summerset, Celeste, Amelia, SunnyQ, Sarah and Jenadina for talking back to my confession last Friday! I confessed that I don't use many (okay, any) of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine.

It seems I am not alone. Five people reported never using the fancy decorative stitches, 10 reported rarely using them and only 2 reported using them "sometimes". Not surprisingly, the most commonly used stitches are straight (called out by 8 people), zig zag (5), button hole (3) and blind hem and overlock/overedge (each called out by 2).
What I found most interesting is the uses that people suggested for those decorative stitches:
  • Several people mentioned using them (or planning to use them) to personalize and jazz up hems and other edges in children's clothes, costumes and even on store-bought items like dish towels.
  • A couple of folks said that these stitches are more commonly used with vintage patterns and heirloom sewing.
  • Summerset uses them on her art garments.
  • SunnyQ successfully used one to cover a blemish in some fabric - an idea that I thought was particularly clever! :)
I particularly enjoyed Amelia's story of how she never used to use them, but her daughter loves them and uses them in new and creative ways, which has freed up Amelia to think "out-of-the-box" and experiment more.

And Sue had an excellent idea - when she first got her machine, she used each stitch once and made herself a sampler book. I'd like to do this sometime too.

In her comment, Cindy asked the more general question of what brand of machine do people use and how much did they spend? I have a 7 year old Kenmore which I bought new for about $400, and which I am very happy with. It's my dependable little workhorse. ;)
(Although, just to show you how quickly things change, the Kenmores that Ana and Juana bought last fall have more features than mine and cost half as much!)

Here is the breakdown among the commenters who also answered Cindy's question:

  • Bernina - 4
  • Brother - 3
  • Viking - 2
  • Janome - 2
  • Singer - 1

And regarding cost:

  • less than $100 - 1
  • between $100 and $500 - 2
  • between $501 and $1000 - 2
  • over $1000 - 1
Finally, while NO ONE expressed any unhappiness with their machine(s), 3 people made comparisons between two machines that they own now or have owned in the past, and in each case, the person stated that she is (or was) just as happy with the more basic model as with the fancy, bells-and-whistles model.

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to tell me a little about your sewing! :)

Photo credit: Linda Matthews


Zep said...

Wow..I'm digging that picture. It's very beautiful.

I guess I should answer my own question. When I opened my sewing school 3 years ago I bought 6 different machines. 1 Kenmore (I'm a Kenmore girl Faye)1 brothers, 1 singer, 1 simplicity and 1 white and all less than $250. I also bought a serger and boy is that fun to own. All the years I sewed I never had one.

I wanted to buy different brands of machine to teach that basically all machines work the same. I also didn't want to spend a lot of money on them because I wanted people to know they didn't have to spend a lot to have fun sewing.

2 years ago I became a Singer dealer. I had so many people tell me "if you sold machines I would buy one from you". I sold all my other machines (except my Kenmore) and only have Singer machines now.

I let my students bring in their machines if they wish. Because of this I have gotten to experience all kinds of machines. There's a new feature on the brothers machines that I wish they would put on all machines. It's a button you push and it cuts your threads and lifts the pressure foot when you finish your seam. I've seen this on some of the expensive machines but now they have made their way to the less expensive machines.

I love your blog! Have a most wonderful Memorial Day weekend and don't forget to honor our fallen (the true reason why we celebrate). My friends son died in Iraq 5 years ago (hard to believe it's been that long) He was only 20 yrs old on his second tour. RIP ALEX!